Tech vendors looking to bounce back from the recession might consider investing a few more dollars in improving customer service. According to a survey of IT professionals, most tech companies are offering merely an adequate customer service experience. Yet IT shops tend to steer their limited budget dollars toward vendors that offer not just the best products, but also the best customer service experiences. Even as large enterprise providers consolidate, IT still has clout -- and is using it.
The new report from Temkin Group found that only Microsoft's business application division, Microsoft's server division, Cisco, and IBM SPSS earned rankings of Excellent for customer experience they provided (a score of 71 percent of higher). Twenty companies came away with Okay ratings (a range of 61 percent to 70, including Intel, Oracle, Apple, EMC, Dell, Citrix, and Red Hat); 36 were slapped with Poor (51 percent through 60, including Salesforce.com, McAfee, Adobe, and Symantec) or Very Poor customer-experience ratings (including Capgemini, Fujitsu, Novell, ACS, Software AG, Hitachi, Alcatel-Lucent, and Open Text).
Each company's customer experience ranking (referred to as the Temkin Experience Ranking in the report) was based on customers' ratings of three things: Functional experience (i.e. "did you accomplish what you wanted to?"), accessible experience (i.e. "how easy was it to interact with the company?"), and emotional experience (i.e. "how did you feel about the interactions?")
Temkin also asked respondents whether or not they planned to do repeat business with the tech vendors they rated. For the most part, Temkin found a correlation between customer experience scores and purchase momentum scores, which was calculated by taking the percentage of respondents who planned to spend more with a company, then subtract the percentage who planned to spend less.
For example, Microsoft's business applications division and Cisco both earned customer experience scores of 72 percent. Cisco earned the second-highest customer momentum score (39 percent), and Microsoft's business apps division tied for the third highest with 37 percent. IBM SPSS, which earned an Excellent customer experience rating, secured a momentum score of 34 percent.